We have retrogressed
As revealed earlier by Sen. Richard Gordon, the Philippine Red Cross president, “in 1939, the Philippine Red Cross and the University of the Philippines donated vaccines for China.. . . . The vaccines were created in a serum and vaccine laboratory in Alabang, which was sold and repurposed into a mall in the latter part of the century. This laboratory produced tetanus and tuberculosis vaccines, and even snake anti-venom. We lost a valuable asset for the Philippines when we let this vaccine laboratory go.”
This was something we were proud of . . . . in 1939. Now we are begging for vaccines from China and other sources.
More than 50 years before that. We were the envy of neighboring countries regarding our trains in Manila (now Metro Manila) conceptualized and soon implemented by Spanish and German engineers in the 1880s, using steam powered railway cars called Tranvias. These were later improved and became electric in the early 1900s when the Americans took over as our colonizers.
Somehow it appears to have been privatized and ended up being operated by MERALCO.in the early1900s. We know MERALCO now as the Manila Electric Company which operates the supply of electricity in Metro Manila and nearby provinces. Its original corporate name was Manila Electric and Railroad Company, hence, the acronym as its name.
Over the years, the country’s railways system vanished in the hands of government. The only thing left now is the Manila-Bicol route of its infrastructure.
Part of the grand plan for Philippine railways was to bring it up all the way to Baguio. We are talking here of the 1920s. The route was plotted and work was started some of which are still with us. The tunnels towards the Asin Hot Springs and a relatively long one in Aringay, La union are still there where the trains were supposed to pass through. It would have been just a short distance from Damortis, La Union where the train service ended— that totally stopped in the late 1970s or 1980s.
So from the envy of our Asian neighbors, our railway system is now almost nil. Government started only to build a new light rail transit (railway) for Metro Manila in the 1980s.
But our worst retrogression is in the kind of brains among people in government. This is best exemplified by the red-tagging of community pantry organizers. As Sen Gordon also said, it was “imbecile, stupid, etc.” DFA Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin said it in another way, “there is now a new strain, kabobohan.” Despite such comments all over the place, nobody is being fired or resigning.
This is the worst kind of retrogression. When there is no more sense of decency, much less common sense, among some high ranking officials in government.**